The Boston Red Sox called themselves “The Idiots” on their way to finally breaking “The Curse” in 2004.
I’m surprised Kevin Harvick’s pit crew members haven’t labeled themselves the same thing over the years, as a way to deflect the sting of his insults.
Harvick has called his pit guys “idiots” and “buffoons” for public consumption. When scanners apparently didn’t tell the story clearly enough, Delana Harvick has elaborated on Twitter, in the middle of a race.
Emotional outbursts from inside the car are nothing new, but nobody has made it personal as consistently as Harvick. You can say it’s just business, but using words that insulting that often can transcend work. Slip-ups have happened regularly enough with Harvick’s Cup and Nationwide crews over the years that you have to ask the chicken-or-the-egg question: Is Harvick always yelling because the pit crew struggles, or is the pit crew struggling because Harvick is just too overbearing to allow otherwise qualified people to do their jobs?
We might answer that question this year. Harvick has a mostly new pit crew, and they’re in a honeymoon period after winning the past two races. For all intents and purposes, under the new system two wins locks up a spot in the Chase. Never has a driver had more house money to play with six races into a season.
Maybe it’s time for Harvick to use this advantage to make sure his over-the-wall guys have some emotional capital left for when it really counts. Nobody on Harvick’s team needs to be complacent right now. But there’s also absolutely no reason to have a conniption fit over one bad pit stop in the first 50 laps.
While owner Richard Childress and crew chief Gil Martin might normally let Kevin be Kevin, this could be the time to step in and offer a moment of pause if he melts down over losing three spots in the pits.
Or, maybe Harvick can figure it out himself. Imagine a downtrodden jackman who slipped making his way to the left side of the car. He’s already feeling like garbage and just waiting for Harvick to pour the Bonneville Salt Flats onto his wound.
Instead, Harvick realizes he has all the time in the world to build psyches instead of rattle them and bites his tongue.
Folks, if Kyle Busch is learning how to do it, Harvick has no excuses.